Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by jackie c, Dec 13, 2004.

  1. jackie c

    jackie c Well-Known Member

    Jul 17, 2004
    I've been living with insomnia for some time, I sleep for maybe an hour, then I'm up for two, go back to bed, the same thing. I got a grand total of 3 hours last night. This can't be good. I think that I'm functioning OK, but really, not. I forget things all the time, have trouble concentrating, appetite is irratic at best, have digestive problems regularly,and the list goes on. I've tried sleep aids, but hate the way I feel in the morning. I don't think sleeping pills are a good idea. I get plenty of fresh air and exercise, and sometimes that makes it worse. Has anyone ever had this chronic insomnia? Can you suggest any herbal/diet remidies. I'm at my wits end with this. I NEED SLEEP!!! :( I've heard of a good nights sleep, what's it like?
  2. OD

    OD Well-Known Member

    May 25, 2004
    I know exactly how you feel, I had the same problem for 20 years, & was cured by accident. I also had a bulging disc & some other problems in my back that was causing extreme pain & was told about a doctor that could fix spinal problems by adjusting the top vertabrae in the neck. A friend with cronic fatigue syndrome had been to this doctor & the improvement in him was unbelievable (including a bad back). I was sceptical, but desperate, so we drove 250 miles to see him.
    Long story short, my bad disc hardly ever bothers me anymore, I don't grind my teeth in my sleep anymore, my weak ankle got well, I no longer have panic attacks, & I can sleep 10 hours straight if I want. The disc took several weeks to heal, but the insomnia was cured from the first night. I am at least 75% better.
    My SIL went to him & her insomnia was cured, too.
    The doctor that I went to is in Oklahoma, but there are others that practice the same procedure that he does.

  3. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

    Nov 18, 2003
    Dysfunction Junction, SW PA
    I'm also a pain insomiac..
    cold damp winter doesnt help any!

    I want summer back it was WARM and I slept like a rock.
  4. HarleysMom

    HarleysMom Well-Known Member

    Apr 20, 2004
    A doctor told a friend of mine to take one of the Vitamin Bs at bedtime for her insomnia and she said it really helped. I will take Benadryl sometimes, but I don't like the way I feel in the morning, but it does help me sleep. I also take Calm Tabs, an herbal mixture, that I get from Puritans Pride on-line and Coral Calcium every night I have to take a break from the Calm Tabs though every once in
    a while because I start needing more and more for them to work and after a few days off I can take a low dose again. St John's Wort also helps me sleep but it quits working if I take it every night. So, basically, I try to take a good B complex during the day, not take Vitamin C after noon, make sure I get enough magnesium, and then at bedtime take either the Calm Tabs or Benadryl and a good calcium supplement. Everyone is different but these work for me. I would like to hear what other people take to sleep. Some nights, like tonight, nothing seems to work. The wind is really roaring outside and keeping me awake.

    And also I take stuff to keep pain levels down sometimes so I can sleep better. I tend to sleep okay most of the time using this stuff.
  5. ibcnya

    ibcnya Well-Known Member

    Feb 16, 2004
    South East Iowa
    I work a 4 pm to midnight shift which is almost perfect in the winter coz it's dark anyway. But to get to sleep at 2 am so I have some daytime working hours around the place. I drink beer. So if you see some late night posts on here by me. It's because I just got home from work and am drinking a few beers and I sleep goooood.
  6. daycab

    daycab Well-Known Member

    Oct 19, 2004
    Levels, WV
    Have you tried melatonin? I take a couple before bed and they seem to help. My bizarre work schedule ( 12am to 2 pm) reequires that I be asleep before 4 pm. They are not narcotic or habit forming.

    Here are some other obvious things I do to ensure good sleep.
    1. I try and keep my sleep schedule the same. I do not, however, go to bed at 4 pm on my days off!
    2. No soda, coffee, or tea for about 5 hours prior to bed.
    3. A shower prior to bed seems to relax me.
    4. Use the bed for sleeping only. I do my reading, surfing, eating elsewhere.
    5 Ear plugs. I'm a light sleeper and these help me sleep through barking dogs, lawn mowers , and the like. It does take a couple of nights to get used to them.

    Hope this helps. Good luck!
  7. RMShepp

    RMShepp Active Member

    Nov 6, 2004
    Sleep apnea is also a possibility. If you snore a lot that could be a symptom.
  8. boxwoods

    boxwoods Well-Known Member

    Oct 6, 2003
    Central New York
    A set of new soft sheets 600 or better thread count?
    sleep in the raw
    couple of aspirin before bed
    breathable blankets to release the heat buildup
    bath or shower in hot water

    I had a heck of a time sleeping more than a couple hours at a time. Found most of it was due to scratchy sheets (irratating anyway)
  9. jackie c

    jackie c Well-Known Member

    Jul 17, 2004
    Thanks for the responses, I slept last night, because I broke down and took some pain meds, yeah I've got back trouble now and then. But I feel like crap this morning, blah. I go see a specialist about it and my knees in Feb. (takes 4 months for an appointment around here) Everyone has some great advice and I will indeed try just about all. Getting pretty desparate to have a natural at least 6 hour straight sleeep. Even last night, I woke but went back to sleep. I don't know if I snore, no one here to tell me. I do drink coffee, but never after 4 pm, maybe just a couple cups in the moring, gonna try that today. Harleysmom you have some suggestions I've never heard of, thanks, and yup the winds been howling here for days, thats what kept waking me the other night. Breathable blankets, sounds interesting, I use a down comforter, and maybe I get to hot, I often wake up soaked in sweat, but I thought it was menopause, maybe a combination of both. Have you priced them sheets, yikes!! Maybe I'll ask Santa for some, hehe. Sleeping in the raw, sounds good, but when you wake up after the fires been out, brrrrrrr, wakes me up even more! A bath would work, but alas, all I have is a shower. Anyway, you all have given me some stuff to work with, Thanks alot! :worship:
  10. Chuck123

    Chuck123 Well-Known Member

    Aug 3, 2004
    You might want to read up on the benefits of a liver sounds like symptoms of a congested liver.
  11. DreamingBig

    DreamingBig Well-Known Member

    Aug 15, 2004
    I was going to suggest this too. Also GERD. Maybe you can find some help here. Good luck, I used to have apnea and it is miserable!

  12. BamaSuzy

    BamaSuzy Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2002
    Jackie, I was taking two Benedryl each night because that helped me sleep but I QUIT that about two months ago. Often now I awake about 1:30 or 2 a.m. and can't go back to sleep. Instead of lying there fretting about not sleeping, I turn on the little lamp attached to my headboard (which doesn't bother husband) and read old back issues of TMEN or COUNTRYSIDE or BACKWOODS HOME....If I have any writing I need to do for the newspaper and I'm on deadline, I'll get up during that time and do a couple of hours of writing. Often after a couple of hours I'm ready to take a nap so I'll go back to bed about 4 or 5 and sleep about an hour, then wake up refreshed....

    As we get older we need less sleep. Also if you are in pain that can hinder sleep. Also, it could have something to do with Menopause. I am 52 and had an emergency hysterectomy a little more than two years ago. I have have few other problems other than a few hot flashes occassionally and the sleeplisness....I refuse to take any hormones and am allergic to most I've found a positive attitude is my best help....

    If I can't sleep, I do something positive like read (or write) and then relax and go back to sleep day dreaming and then dreaming about homestead wishes!

    COUNTRY WISHES Well-Known Member

    Nov 27, 2004
    NW NJ's lakeland hills
    You should look ino having a sleep study done. You may well have apnea and if you do taking a sleep aid or decongestant or drinking at bedtime can be dangerous.

    I just recently had one done and I am going for a follow up Thursday. I was feeling awful. Tired, bloated, and putting on weight. It turns out that I am partially waking up hundreds of times a night and sometimes I wake up fully. My throat is closing when I reach REM sleep, the rest of the time it is narrowing and I am being deprived of oxegyn. This makes all the organs in my body very unhappy. They do not function properly, thus the bloating because my liver isn't working fully. On Thursday I am being fitted for a mask that will force air into my airway to keep it open and I am told I will then get a good nights sleep. I can't wait.

    This condition can lead to congestive heart failure or you can just not wake up and breathe if you are on a sleep aid or drinking.

    Good luck and God bless.
  14. Rita

    Rita Well-Known Member Supporter

    May 13, 2002
    I found the combination of these really help me with getting a good night's sleep:

    I take an antihistamine (Clortabs from Walmart) to help with the breathing. I take one 50 mg 5HtP tablet and alternate with Kava Kava (some warnings on bottle), black cohosh and Super Snooze (from either Swanson or Puritans). I find when I alternate my body doesn't get "used" to one remedy to where it doesn't work anymore. Hope this helps. Rita
  15. chickflick

    chickflick Well-Known Member

    Oct 20, 2003
    This is going to sound Reeeeall simplistic.... (other posters have made good suggestions, too.. esp. Melatonin suppliment) BUT...

    It is sometimes a good idea to RE-TRAIN you bladder! I won't go into the 'history".. well.. yes I will...

    My deceased hubby used to get up three or four times a night.. I too, then began to get up to go pee. Well.. this got to be a habit....

    ANYWAY... as I got sick and tired of this.. I just decided to REtrain myself.. and then suggested he do the same.. guess what.... within a week or two.. sleeping all night! lOL!!

    When you wake up.. you probably go to the bathroom (I mean.. you're awake, right? So why not go?) Bad idea.. just refuse to get up and go.... and in a few days you'll wake up less. MInd over matter.
  16. deedler

    deedler Well-Known Member

    Nov 18, 2004
    Crosby, TX
    I,too, have sleep problems. I've found my solution and maybe it'll help you.
    I had to spend 1 wk. a month in the hospital getting chemo ( for 3mo. but 7yrs. ago) and the third round, he mentioned that he had NEVER had a patient that
    didn't ask for sleeping medication and why hadn't I? I told him that I take 2
    Valerian capsules and 3mg. Melatonin every nite about half an hour before I
    want to go to bed and it works all the time.
    Melatonin comes in different strengths so you may have to experiment. I never feel bad in the morning and occasionally I've had to get back up for
    emergency reasons and had no problem functioning.
    Melatonin is at its highest in our brain in infancy, you know...sleep like a baby.
    As we age the levels drop a lot. That seems to be why old people get their days and nights mixed up (yeah, I can talk about being old). Melatonin is also
    recommended for shift workers and jet lag!
    Good luck, Dee
  17. westbrook

    westbrook In Remembrance

    May 10, 2002
    Are you old enough to start menopause? sleeplessness is one of the symptoms.
  18. amelia

    amelia Well-Known Member

    May 2, 2003
    Washington State
    Maybe you should reconsider "sleeping pills." They're not what they used to be. I have used Ambien on and off for the last several years and find it to be a great drug. Very clean--meaning no grogginess the next morning, and no problem with dependence. I've used the same half-tablet (half of 10 mg.) dose on and off for years with no withdrawal issues and no need to increase.

    Other possibilities are melatonin, as others have suggested, and 5-hydroxytryptophan (available in the health food section). Also herbal relaxants such as Valerian and Kava Kava. Turkey and milk are among the various foods known to contain amino acids that promote sleep.

    I have used Benadryl and other antihistamines in the past, but found them to have problematic side-effects, including major grogginess in the morning, and a "restless legs syndrome" (akathesia) that can exacerbate the sleep disturbance and drive you crazy while you're lying there awake.

    I'm generally a natural foods/medicine advocate and all-around purist, but when it comes to sleep (and migraines), I don't mess around. It's just too essential.
  19. AnnaS

    AnnaS Well-Known Member

    Nov 29, 2003
    Verndale MN
    I had insomnia since I was 12. I have it almost licked by:

    Retraining the brain as to what a bed is for. I read a lot in bed and if I'm not sleepy within a half hour, I get up and sit in an easy chair to read until I'm sleepy. Lying in bed reading for hours makes your mind associate "bed" with reading, (or watching TV, or tossing, or worrying) not sleeping.

    Going to bed and getting up at the same time every day (weekend or no!) Once I started milking goats, I had a big drop in nights I couldn't get to sleep, because had a routine. It's like if you eat lunch at the same time every day, your stomach starts rumbling about then!

    Valerian worked really well for me. I use it on those nights I can't get sleepy. I do feel kinda dopy in the am after using it.
  20. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

    Aug 13, 2003
    I had a period of extremely high stress and could not sleep. My son had brain surgery and I was a little hyper-vigilant! I was so strung out from no sleep I couldn't function. The doctor gave me ambien. That is a miracle drug, though not a solution for a chronic problem. I slept like a rock and woke up feeling great. A few days on that got me back on track.